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Step 1: Orient toward Spirit
If there is one secret truly worth discovering, it is not the secret of the law of attraction. It is the secret of Spirit. True, the law of attraction can bring you whatever you want in life, but as I mentioned before, it won't necessarily bring you what is good for you. Only Spirit understands what you really need and why you are here.
Seek to understand what Spirit wants for you in this life.
As you will discover, the law of attraction can be used in healthy or unhealthy ways. A child can be attracted to a flame, but the best result is not to put her hand into the fire and get burned. Metaphorically, Spirit can be seen as a divine parent, seeking to guide you into greater wisdom and maturity. And what Spirit ultimately wants for you is simple—to be conscious of the universe.
Spirit also wants you to live an abundant life. But let's be clear on what spiritual abundance is and what it is not. An abundance of Spirit is an abundance of spiritual wisdom and insight. It includes an abundance of spiritual values like patience, love, compassion, maturity, respect, appreciation, intelligence, harmony, inner peace, joy, and a dedication to what is often called the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Spiritual Lessons Are Everywhere
Yes, your dharma, or spiritual purpose in life, may involve great monetary wealth. But, then again, it may not! While meditating on wealth and spirituality, I remember one particularly powerful experience. I was reflecting on the times when I had money and when I did not. At the time I was near the ocean. It had just rained, and slowly my attention was drawn to the vast expanse of water in front of me and then to a puddle by the side of the road.
Oceans and puddles. My attention went back and forth between the two. Should I damn the puddle for being so small? Wasn't it serving a purpose? Wasn't it helping to collect a pool of water until the sun could evaporate it? Didn't I have multiple childhood memories of splashing about in puddles? Didn't I remember the delight and laughter of seeing water splash all around me as my boot stomped down into it? Yes, puddles had brought a lot of joy into my life.
As for oceans, having grown up in the Midwest, I always found it a magical experience to head down to Florida to see the vast expanse of water before me: the waves rolling in and out, surfers riding those waves, sea creatures of all kinds inhabiting a whole new universe below. Oceans were always mysterious and enchanting to me, not to mention healing and soothing, which was why I was standing in front of the ocean at that time.
Of course, lakes had always brought a lot of joy to me as well. There were lots of lakes in the Midwest. I loved the water. I liked both sailing and waterskiing, and swimming was always one of my favorite things. Picnics on the grass. Family outings. Those early teenage romantic rendezvous. Except for the chiggers, which could bite you, I never had a memory of a lake I didn't thoroughly adore.
Even water in a glass has a purpose. I don't know about you, but when I am thirsty, it is water in a glass, not water from a lake, ocean, or puddle, I most want to drink. I realized that no matter what form or shape water took, it wasn't about how much water any person did or did not have. It was about the function of the water and how well it was put to use.
And, in that moment I realized that money and all the "stuff" people acquired with it were exactly like water in this world. I came to understand that it wasn't how much any person had or didn't have that mattered. It was the spiritual lessons they were learning from what they possessed and how well they consciously, lovingly, and intelligently managed their possessions. It also mattered that they were capable of sticking to spiritual principles no matter how much wealth or what kind of circumstances they faced in their lives. Perhaps this is why so many spiritual people go through both prosperous and adverse situations. Like the double dorje, they are learning to stand poised at the center of the circle, staying spiritually balanced no matter the outer circumstances of their world.
Spirit Overcomes Fear and Selfish Desire
As you've probably figured out by now, when I talk about using the law of attraction, I am not talking about getting a lot of stuff. Stuff may or may not make you happy. It's just that too often people acquire stuff as a way to avoid their ultimate fear—that stuff may really be all there is in this universe. Just like the stuff of our bodies, one day all that other stuff will disappear as well. The only thing that will remain is Spirit, and even that is difficult for some stuff-driven people to accept and comprehend. Though I have personalized Spirit metaphorically as a divine parent, it really is the vast, all-encompassing force that pervades the universe. As my own mystical experiences have revealed to me, Spirit lives within everything. Nothing can escape it, and everyone is "it" in a very fundamental way.
Understand that Spirit is infinite; forms are finite. Spirit is abundant; forms are not.
Thus, those who know Spirit intimately understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing in this universe can be destroyed. Death is an illusion. Whenever anything appears to die, it simply changes shape and form. As Albert Einstein said, "Energy cannot be created or destroyed." This realization radically shifts your experience of death and desire. Though The Secret also mentions this Einstein quote, the book fails to illuminate or appreciate how, when you remove the fear of death, you don't desire things in quite the same way.
For starters, you no longer act as a human being who wants to consume everything in sight, leaving nothing of real value for your children and grandchildren in the future. You begin to understand that humans who are only focused on consumption are really like a cancer on this Earth. Just as cancer cells in your body could use the law of attraction to get what they want despite your ultimate demise, humans need to understand that, if they are not careful, they will use the law of attraction in a destructive manner, reaping devastation on the larger world around them.
Of course, even if the law of attraction is used in a selfish way, Spirit will ultimately turn it toward the good. But why make those mistakes? Why set yourself back and misuse the law of attraction instead of applying it in a spiritual way? The difficulty with the law of attraction is that it is entirely neutral. Just as The Secret shares, the law of attraction is like a genie in a bottle here to grant your every wish. Often, what you are wishing for is not what Spirit is wishing for you! Just as a child can wish to eat nothing but cookies all day long, what you wish for as an adult may or may not be good for you in the long run. And since the law of attraction is neutral, it doesn't care. It will give you want you want regardless.
Remember the law of attraction is neutral. Though you can use it to get whatever you wish for, it doesn't always give you what Spirit wishes for you!
Spirit Reveals Your Ultimate Destiny
So here's the rub: The next time you are busy polishing that lamp so all of your wishes can come true, think twice about what you are doing because the most powerful use of the law of attraction is ultimately to attract to yourself a clear understanding of how to wish! And one of the best wishes you can make is to gain insight into yourself and your spiritual purpose, mission, or ultimate destiny in this world.
Now, I cannot tell you what your ultimate destiny is. Though I can attempt to guide you, only Spirit knows what it is for certain. But I believe Spirit has a fundamental purpose—to wake you up so you can realize that ultimately you are Spirit, and so is everything else around you. Call it enlightenment, self-realization, unity consciousness, oneness, or being filled with the Holy Spirit. It all leads to a quest by which you understand that you are here not to consume but to contribute. You are not here simply to acquire but to give! All that you receive in life is ultimately a gift from Spirit that teaches you to be more loving and aware on this Earth. You might as well face it: No matter how much you use the law of attraction to wish it would not be true, your time on this Earth is finite! How you spend your time here is important. So what on this Earth will you do?
Will you spend your time and energy only trying to obtain your material desires? Especially in the world today, it is possible to attract to yourself a lot of material goods! And, quite frankly, attracting stuff is easy. Just think of all the people you know who have knowingly or unknowingly used the law of attraction to get what they have wanted in life. They may have cars, money, a dream home, the best-looking partner or spouse, good health, and even well-dressed and educated children. On the exterior, their lives look like a dream. Yet, despite all of this, they may also remain lackluster and walk through life half-consciously. To cope, they often medicate themselves with alcohol, Prozac, illegal drugs, adrenaline-rush activities, sexual conquests, and much, much more. Sadly, despite all of their prosperity, too many people in our present society act like empty zombies. Maybe that is why our culture is so increasingly obsessed with horror movies. As a whole, we are trying to wake up to the horror of the empty lives too many people are currently living.
Attract More Spirit into Your Life
This is why it is so important to attract the things of Spirit no matter what the outer circumstances of your life. Then you will know that if you can stay connected with Spirit, grow in wisdom, and have a heart capable of love, you will remain in a very good mood. Just like Job in the Bible who was stripped of everything and everyone he loved for a while, you will discover it is possible to stay in touch with Spirit for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do you part, no matter what. You will learn to remain in a state of inner joy and peace whether you take on the role of a Bill Gates or Mother Teresa. My research and life experiences have shown me that people can accomplish this. But I have worked hard and long to know the secret of Spirit in my life. I know this secret of Spirit really has the power to free you.
So get busy trying to attract an understanding of the purpose Spirit has for you. But remember that you cannot write that purpose yourself, especially if it is selfish in nature, without paying a price in the end. What does Spirit want most from you? To become conscious and to love. How do you love? By experiencing yourself as connected to everything around you and, as everything and everyone, to learn how to take better care of yourself. Despite the illusion that you are separate from other people, we are all interconnected. Think of a hand: even though you may believe you are only a finger, you are part of the hand nevertheless. As you wake up to this fact, you realize how important it is to care about what happens to the people and the overall planet around you. This is not an easy task. To truly love, you have to understand what everything around you needs to grow and prosper. Try attracting that information to you!
Of course, learning to love everyone and everything around you may seem like an impossible task. That is why it is important to begin in small ways. If you can just learn to love and care for yourself, that alone is a huge accomplishment. If you can also learn to love, care for, and respect your family, neighbors, coworkers, and community—wow! What a wonderful world it would be if we could all do that!
So, why not begin right now to use the law of attraction to help you live a loving and spiritual life? Don't forget to attract to yourself an understanding of just how much you have to offer. That way you will seek to make your life more about contribution, instead of acquisition, as you live from day to day.
Use the law of attraction to benefit not only yourself, but everyone around you.
Orient Toward Spirit
1. Seek to understand what Spirit wants for you in this life.
2. Understand that Spirit is infinite; forms are finite. Spirit is abundant; forms are not.
3. Remember the law of attraction is neutral. Though you can use it to get whatever you wish for, it doesn't always give you what Spirit wishes for you!
4. Use the law of attraction to benefit not only yourself, but everyone around you.CHAPTER 2
Step 2: Negate the Ego
All of us have an ego—that part of ourselves that is totally focused on our needs, desires, thoughts, feelings, talents, drama, or wants in the world. In and of itself, the ego is not a problem. Each of us needs to pay some attention to ourselves. We all need to master the skills that help us feed and clothe our bodies, manage our emotions constructively, and handle our problems with greater skill. Only as we learn to do this can we drop our attention from our own issues and focus on the needs of others whom we are meant to serve (children, parents, partners, employers, employees, Spirit, and all of life itself).
The ego is that part of us that is totally focused on its own wants and desires.
When people are overly stuck in their egos, they can become energy vampires to everyone around them. The psychological word for them is narcissist. A narcissist doesn't know how to step out of his own world or point of view to understand and see clearly the reality of others. In Greek mythology, Narcissus spies a reflection of himself in a pool of water and spends the rest of his life gazing at it, contemplating how handsome and wonderful he is. Sadly, it is difficult to get the ego to move beyond its constant focus on itself. Like Narcissus gazing into the pool for hours on end, ego-driven individuals don't understand how many positive opportunities move by them, because they simply don't know how to pay attention to anyone or anything else other than themselves.
Ego as Narcissist
Why certain people become narcissistic is not easy to comprehend. When the self-esteem movement came into being, it asserted people may become egotistical to compensate for the bruised and damaged reflections they received of themselves as children. If eventually they receive positive mirroring from others, they learn to love and respect themselves and lessen their insatiable needs for attention, which they attempt to achieve through either constructive or destructive means.
As a therapist, my role was often one of trying to give the positive feedback that their parents, through a lack of understanding or skill, failed to offer them.
But from a spiritual perspective we need to do more than build up self-esteem in others. We need to stop feeding the ego altogether. This is because frequently the ego doesn't know when to quit. It won't stop playing what I call the See Me game long enough to see what others are going through. The ego plays this See Me game because it constantly craves attention. During certain stages in life (childhood and life crises, for example), it is natural to be overly absorbed in your own issues, but beyond a certain point this is not healthy growth.
Learn how the ego constantly seeks attention by playing the See Me game.
The See Me Game
"See me!" Like a vacuum cleaner, the person stuck in his ego will suck others into paying attention to his continual dramas. It's bad enough that narcissists are stuck on themselves. Beyond this, narcissists want you to be stuck on them, too. There are many ways the See Me game is played. The "put-down" approach of the See Me game goes something like this: "See how powerful, loving, intelligent, beautiful, devoted, organized, rich, and successful I am compared to you." On the flip side, the "I'm too helpless" approach goes something like this: "See how difficult, full of pain, abusive, broke, chaotic, and horrible my life is next to how yours looks."
Now, some people are, in fact, more powerful, loving, intelligent, rich, beautiful, and so forth than others. Though everyone is equal in Spirit, the fact is that in this world there will always be people who are better or worse in some areas than you. And some people are, in fact, suffering horribly. As a counselor, I was exposed to some very heart-wrenching cases of abuse and pain. It was difficult not to feel angry or sad regarding this suffering, especially when it involved children. No child (or human being for that matter) should be subjected to any form of abuse. But, the egotistical person lives in a very self-absorbed world and is obsessed with discovering how well he is measuring up compared to you. If a person stuck in the ego feels superior to you, he is likely to flaunt that superiority in an arrogant manner. If that person feels inferior to you, he is likely to demean himself, acting as if he could never be worthy of you, health, or happiness, no matter what.
Excerpted from Beyond the Secret by Lisa Love. Copyright © 2011 Lisa Love. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company.
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